there’s probably something wrong, such as
a bent or damaged part in the shift control.
Disassemble it and take a look, lubricating
according to manufacturer specs.
Depending on your console control, this
could be a very complex job and a distorted part may be associated with safety
mechanisms, so it may be best to replace the
entire unit. If the shift lever goes back easily,
then the problem is probably “downstream”
between the console control and the engine.
There could be multiple causes. For example,
you may have too sharp a bend in the cable,
which you can’t readily see, or someone may
have used a cable clamp that’s too tight,
squeezing the sheathing.
WHEN DISTRIBUTING WEIGHT, BEWARE!
The 4th of July offers one of boating’s great pleasures — watching fireworks
from the water. But a few precautions are in order
IN RECENT YEARS we’ve seen boating tragedies caused by poor weight distribution or load- ing, even on powerboats in the 30-foot range. This is especially true during holidays such as the 4th of July, when fireworks displays create compelling opportunities to fill our boats
with family and friends to take in the spectacle. But when overloaded boats tip beyond a critical point, they can capsize or rapidly take on water. Here are some tips to stay safe.
Learn the manufacturer’s designed maximum capacity, including weight, for your boat. If
yours is missing, find out what it is, and take that number seriously. If one of your guests is
unusually heavy, reduce capacity. Even if your load is less than max capacity, or you have a
boat larger than 20 feet, beware of weight distribution. Avoid everyone moving to one side, or
one end, to see something such as fireworks or a big fish. Some powerboats have seating in
the bow, yet too much weight there while running adversely affects a boat’s balance, steering,
My boat always burned dramatically more
fuel than I think it should. The gas filler cap
fell off its chain, and I lost it. I replaced the
filler cap and then went on vacation and did
not use the boat for almost two weeks. When
I returned, I noticed the lid to the fuel-tank
access, on the deck, had popped up. This
used to happen years ago, and I knew just
what to do. I loosened the hose clamp on
one of the hoses going into what I think
is the fuel tank, and pulled it off the barb.
There was a loud “whoosh” and a spray of
mostly air mixed with gasoline. I replaced
the hose and hose clamp. That day my fuel
consumption was dramatically down. I used
maybe half the gasoline I expected to use.
Any guesses? Martin Dick
Key Largo, FL
JOHN ADEY: I’m going to assume this is
a traditional fuel system (see the note below).
If your tank is swelling under the heat of the
day, the fuel is expanding with no way to get
out. It’s the same thing as if you left a plastic
jerry can in the sun with no vent. It blows up
like a balloon! I’m confused about why remov-
ing the fill cap did not release the pressure
without removing the hose. Many fills are a
fill/vent combination with the cap serving the
job that a separate vent usually does. This cap
is very specific to the fill; just because the cap
fits, it doesn’t mean it’s the right one. If this is
a fill/vent combination, then my guess is that
the cap you installed is generic and doesn’t